How to Get More Website Traffic for Free
There are 1.24 billion websites in the world. That’s a lot of competition, but keep in mind that you’re not trying to attract all internet users. Your goal is to get more people in your target audience to visit your site. Below are some simple and free ways to increase the amount of relevant traffic that you are getting to your website.
1. Create a Google My Business Account
Did you know that an optimized Google My Business listing gets 7x more visits than an incomplete one? Don’t forget that your listing links to your website, so this is a great way to get more traffic to your website. Keep in mind also that Google is getting smarter and smarter with results. If your listing provides all of the information a potential customer needs to make a decision, they might forego your website and contact/visit your business directly—even better than a website visit!
2. Perform On-Page SEO
There are many SEO tactics you can perform on each of your website pages to increase their rank in search engines and get more visitors. This includes producing high-quality content that your audience is searching for, and writing concise meta descriptions for your pages. The meta description appears below your URL in search results. Knowing what a page is about and what will result in a click makes users much more likely to do so. On-page SEO tactics such as these are free, but do take some time. For more help with on-page SEO, check out this blog post: Google Ranking Factors: On-Page vs Off-Page SEO.
Related: SEO Pocket Guide (free PDF)
3. Get Listed
Another way to increase traffic to your website is to get listed in free online directories and review sites. For most of these sites, your profile will have a link to your website, so actively updating these listings and getting positive reviews is likely to result in more website traffic. In addition, many directories like Yelp have strong domain authority on Google. There’s a chance that your business’s free Yelp page could rank high for relevant searches, which could help drive more traffic to your site.
4. Post to Social Media
Social media is one of the most popular free marketing tools around, and plays a role in driving traffic to your website. Use Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to promote blog posts and other useful content on your website. This way you can get your social media followers to your site, as well as users who follow the people who share your content. Creating useful content is free, and is not as hard as it may seem. You are the expert in your product/service; your job is to simplify it for your audience.
5. Use Hashtags
By adding hashtags to posts that promote your website pages and blog posts, you can extend your reach beyond your network and get discovered by users searching for your products and services. The more eyes on your links, the more free traffic you’re getting to your website.
Related: Hashtag Marketing eBook
5. Use Landing Pages
Landing pages are another free source of traffic to your website. These are pages specific to your offers, such as for redeeming a discount code, downloading a free guide, or starting a free trial. They contain the details users need in order to move forward and convert, and focus on one specific call to action, making it more likely to happen. Because landing pages are so specific, you can get very targeted in your messaging, increasing the traffic coming to those pages.
6. Target Long-Tail Keywords
While short-tail keywords are often searched more frequently, it is more difficult to rank for them on search engines. Targeting long-tail keywords, on the other hand, gives you a better chance of ranking higher (even on the first page) for queries specific to your products and services—and higher ranking means more traffic. Plus, as search engines and voice-to-text capabilities advance, people are using more specific phrases to search online. There are many free tools available to help you find keywords to target, such as Answer the Public.
7. Start Email Marketing
Sending out regular newsletters and promoting offers through email is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and can also help to get traffic to your website. Provide useful information and links to pages on your website where they can learn more, such as through blog posts and landing pages for particular offers. Just make sure that you don`t continually bombard your readers with emails or your customers will either disengage with, delete, or unsubscribe from your emails.
Also, put careful thought into your email subject lines. These heavily influence whether or not a user opens your email. If your emails never get opened, they can’t supply traffic to your site!
This method of increasing website traffic is free, so long as your email marketing tool is free. Many platforms (such as Mailchimp) have a free version you can start with.
8. Guest Blog
Having an industry influencer publish a blog post on your site or turning an interview with them into a blog post can help to drive traffic both through organic search but also via that influencer promoting the content to their audience. This can also help to add more variety to your content and show your visitors that you are active in your field.
Alternatively, you could ask the influencer to mention your business in their own review or round-up post. This method is still free, but you still need the collaboration with the influencer to be an exchange with mutual benefit. Check out this post on how to reach out to influencers with an appropriate “ask”.
You can also be a guest blogger. Identify complementary businesses in your area whose audience is relevant to your business. See if you can contribute a post to their blog with a link back to your website. Make sure your content is relevant and useful to their audience, so that it’s more of an even exchange.
9. Engage Online
It’s free to be active in online groups and on websites that are relevant to your business and community—and it helps you to obtain more traffic. Comment on blogs and social media posts, answer questions people are posting, and participate in conversations about your industry. The more you engage with your community, the more exposure and profile visits you get.
If your social media profiles contain a link to your website, then you’ve turned your engagement into another channel for website traffic. Just be sure to engage moderately and in a sincere way, and avoid including links to your website in your comments—lest you appear spammy and hurt your online and business reputation. Increased traffic should not be the goal of your engagement, but rather a secondary result.
10. Learn from Your Analytics
Google Analytics is free to use, and the insights gleaned from it can help you to drive further traffic to your website. Use tracked links for your marketing campaigns and regularly check your website analytics. This will enable you to identify which strategies and types of content work, which ones need improvement, and which ones you should not waste your time on.
Paid Ways to Get More Website Traffic
11. Advertise Online
Online advertising is perhaps the most basic way to get more people to visit your site. Social media, paid search, and display advertising are all excellent channels for PPC advertising to boost website traffic. For more help with online advertising, check out the following:
• Online Advertising eBook (free PDF)
• 10 Facebook Advertising Tips
• How to Advertise on Google
• Social Media Advertising Basics
• What is PPC Advertising?
These are only some of the many strategies you can use to drive traffic to your website. Getting more website visitors does not happen overnight. It takes hard work and dedication, but we’ve eliminated the hard part for you: knowing what to do in the first place. Implement a mix of these strategies and you’ll start seeing improvements in your website traffic.
How to Get More Website Traffic from Google
For more help on getting traffic from Google, check out our Google My Business Knowledge Center below: